Fans began to wonder why Eamonn Holmes was a no-show at the Strictly Come Dancing launch on Saturday night, when his wife Ruth Langsford made her debut. The Northern Irish presenter was notably absent in the audience, but Eamonn has since explained why he was forced to miss the first episode, and how he still feels "awful" about it.
Speaking in an exclusive video for HELLO! Online from Manchester, he said: "Well this is me, all alone in my dressing room in Manchester. You'll turn on the TV and you'll see that I'm not there as Ruth is revealed in the Strictly line-up with her dance partner and people will say it is the curse of Strictly. And the curse of Strictly is that I have been double-booked and I can't be there for her first show and I feel awful about it, but I'm sending her all the positive vibes that I can and I wish I was with her but I'm not. I've got to work elsewhere. That's showbiz."
Everything you need to know about Strictly 2017
Eamonn has previously joked about the Strictly 'curse', saying that he worries his wife will leave him. During an appearance on This Morning when the husband and wife team were talking to Love Island's Marcel Somerville about relationship advice, Ruth turned to her husband and asked: "Do you need any advice?" He replied: "No, no I don't need any advice. Well, what happens if your wife runs off and leaves you with another dancer?" He then added: "That's a whole other story. That may not happen."
Ruth is one of 15 celebrities competing this year
The presenter was actually the driving force behind Ruth signing up for Strictly. "Ruth is a terrible worrier," he told HELLO! Online. "She came to me 'Oh my goodness, I've been asked to do Strictly, it's always been my dream but I just don't have time to do it.' When she said that to me, 'Well I can't do it', I said to her, 'Well, obviously it wasn't your dream then, if it was, you would do it.' She didn't take that very well and said to me, 'You are just putting pressure on me' and I said, 'No, I am not. If it was my dream, I would find a way to do it.'"
Ruth said it was her dream to compete in Strictly
Eamonn's frank reaction managed to convince Ruth. He added: "She wasn't pleased with me, but she went away and she came back six hours later and she said, 'I've been thinking about what you said and you are right, I am going to do it, it is my dream and I am going to do it.'"
Ruth joins 14 other celebrities competing for this year's coveted glitterball trophy – Mollie King, Davood Ghadami, Gemma Atkinson, Reverend Richard Coles, Joe McFadden, Simon Rimmer, Aston Merrygold, Susan Calman, Brian Conley, Charlotte Hawkins, Chizzy Akudolu, Alexandra Burke, Debbie McGee and Jonnie Peacock.